thingelstad

Jamie Thingelstad's personal website

Question2Answer Number Captcha

I’ve been using Question2Answer for a number of years now to power Ask Planet Kubb. I like Question2Answer because it is simple to run, uses a standard PHP + MySQL setup and can even be used in a multi-site farm configuration easy enough. However, I’ve been frustrated by it’s ability to manage spam registrations.

Question2Answer has built in support for ReCaptcha and it has a plugin method to use other anti-spam measures. I’ve used ReCaptcha for a while, but it results in 4 to 10 spam registrations a day. I tried switching to the Q2A Logical Captcha by amiyasahu which uses Text Captcha. I even submitted a pull request to properly salt the captchas. But this resulted in 3-4 times the spam registrations as ReCaptcha! Ouch!

I decided to apply the same type of spam defense I’ve successfully used for MediaWiki and early results are great. It uses the Numbers_Words PHP package to spell out a number of nine digits and then ask the user to identify the number in a specific position. The question looks like this:

screenshot

This works really well. You can grab q2a-number-captcha and git clone it for your own use.

I Voted 2014!

i-voted.gif

Doing my part for democracy.

Boomboxes

Whiplash

Tammy and I went to see Whiplash last night at the renovated Uptown Theater [1. The couch seating is unique, comfortable and nice, but could use more leg room.]. Really good film about the ridiculous effort that must be put in to be great at something, in this case music.  In addition to the storyline your treated to wonderful music and some stunning drumming on screen. Purchased the soundtrack on the way out of the theater.

I really hope this happens. Having an MLS soccer team, but more importantly a team playing in downtown Minneapolis, would be great. I’d definitely look at season tickets!

United Properties says pro soccer is an option for a site it may develop near the Minneapolis Farmers Market — a sign that the Minnesota Vikings may have a serious rival in their bid to bring Major League Soccer to their new home in Downtown East.

via Investors eye site near Mpls. Farmers Market for MLS soccer stadium | Minnesota Public Radio News.

Post-Halloween Breakfast

Updated Dynamic Questy Captchas

A little over a year ago I shared a method of generating dynamic Questy Captchas for the MediaWiki ConfirmEdit extension. This method has been awesome for stopping registration spam on the thingelstad.com wiki farm and many other wiki admins have used it with success. Unfortunately it was more useful in it’s novelty than in it’s difficult to solve, and eventually some spammers wrote the logic to solve it and the registration spam started flooding in.

I decided to put a new method in place that is based on the same question. The previous question generated 8 characters and asked the user to provide one of them based on a random index. I’ve now changed this to generating a number between 100,000,000 and 999,999,999, turning that into spelled out words and then asking to identify one digit. It looks like this:

What is the sixth digit of the number nine hundred fifty-one million eight hundred ninety-eight thousand four hundred twenty-seven?

That turns out to be a somewhat hard question for a human too. I find I typically have to type out the number as I read it. The benefit of this is the solution isn’t in the text of the page. And while I’m sure there are great libraries for turning written numbers back to digits, it’s not immediately obvious.

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SPS Kubb Class

Garrick and I joined forces and auctioned off a Kubb Class at the annual SPS Charity Auction this year. The sales engineering team won the event and we got 12 of them together this past week for a tournament level Kubb class. It was an awesome time with a ton of great questions on the game and a jump-start into Kubb strategy and technique.

SPS Kubb Event 2

Me giving a little demonstration on drilling techniques.

SPS Kubb Event 3

We broke into four teams of three and got to going on two pitches with individual instruction and pro tips!

SPS Kubb Event 4

Jake Freeberg also joined us for the event. The teams has a great time throwing wood and learning the strategy of Kubb.

SPS Kubb Event 1

Everyone got a Planet Kubb shirt!

Business Hours

I wonder how you put this into Yelp? From the mini-donut stand in Nisswa, MN.

Chef

Somewhat surprisingly good movie with lots of fun kitchen scenes. Not going to challenge you to new places, but a great way to spend a Friday evening.

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